You can’t change my mind: I don’t want grandchildren! 484



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I don’t want grandchildren. There, I said it. That feels like a weight off my shoulders already and I haven’t even told you why.

My son is happily married but they aren’t planning on having children any time soon, much to my relief. It’s not that I don’t love kids, it’s just that I’ve already had my own and it exhausted me. I never felt like the greatest mum but I always tried my hardest. At my age (65), I am trying to stay as active as possible and I don’t really desire to have a little child to slowing me down. Sure, I won’t need to see he or she every day so it won’t be my round-the-clock burden, but I don’t think I’m alone in saying that I want to be able to enjoy the rest of my life in peace.

Don’t get me wrong, if my son does decide to have a child, I will love and adore it as I should, I just cannot commit to him that I will be the doting grandmother you see on the ads or in the newspaper. Not everyone can be like that – we can’t all be the cookie cutter grandparent, yet it’s almost like we are awful people if we aren’t. It’s not my scene and not my idea of fun, to be blunt. I might sound like a cross old woman but I’m really not. I have plenty of friends who have grandchildren that they love dearly, but have caused them grief later on. They might be cute and gorgeous as anything when they are first born, but what about the grandchildren who have a rough time and for one reason or another fall off the wagon in their teens or 20s? Or even the ones who default on their home loan repayments and need help? The parents have had enough and the more financially secure grandparents have to step in. This isn’t an isolated incident ­– I hear about it all the time. Of course I’d help my hypothetical grandchild in a heartbeat, but at the same time I don’t yearn for that responsibility and stress in my later years, and who does?!

I don’t think that grandparenting should be a chance to right the mistakes you made with your own children, and I suspect there are a few grandparents out there who genuinely want this to be their second chance. I, on the other hand, am not the least bit worried about the mistakes I made as a parent. I didn’t have books to tell me what to do, I just used my instincts. Like now, my instincts tell me I don’t want a grandchild!

I don’t want to be a grandparent that acts like a parent and makes decisions at every turn. If I must be called on as a grandmother, I will do my duties but I will stand back. I want my son to know he is the parent and it is his child, and although it shares a portion of DNA with me, he or she will not share my home every second weekend!

Grandparenting can be quite stressful. You can make a choice to be a parent but becoming a grandparent is left solely in the hands of your children. Not everyone can cope or wants to nurse a baby 30 years after their own and we shouldn’t be made to feel like we’re selfish or being ridiculous if we react adversely to the news of a new baby in the family.


What do you think? Is grandparenting a gift or do we have the right to object to a new baby in the family? Is it unfair to not want grandchildren or is it understandable? Share your thoughts below.

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  1. I don’t have grandchildren and am unlikely to have any. It would have been nice, but I have accepted it won’t happen. However, everyone assumes I must be a grandmother. So many articles on this page are for grandparents. Sometimes I feel excluded.

    2 REPLY
    • no Meg, your as entitled as anyone to only takes common sense sweetie and you have a ton of that

    • Yes I have friends in this situation. Just as people assume that childless couples have made deliberate decisions not to have children they assume all older folk have grandchildren. You know the old saying to assume is to make an ass of you and me.

  2. I have read this before

    1 REPLY
    • Definitely a re-run of an old post. While it is not an attitude that most of us can comprehend, it is real and honest. Mind you some change their tune when presented with the first grandchild.
      I adore my multitude of grandchildren and great grandchildren and I couldn’t imagine life without them.

  3. Please don’t feel excluded. People who are honest enough to say they don’t want or can’t have grandchildren are better to admit it before a child is born. I have known many people just like that. Some have turned out loving grandparents and others colder and distant which is a cruelty to that child. We are all different, I have 8 grand kids. Love them all. If I had none that would be OK too.

  4. We have seen this before I for the second time around, it is not your choice, you had your child and it is your son’s and his wife’s choice if they want children. Your a selfish person to extremes !!

  5. I have a very special bond with my grandchildren, they are so precious. Yes, they can rattle you chains, but they are worth it.
    Waiting for great grandchildren now, but no one is in a hurry.

  6. I think it’s a selfish attitude because the decision is not yours to make it is up to the couple considering having children and if you don’t like it move right away so you won’t be called on to care for them, I have 8 Grandchildren and love them with all my heart.

    8 REPLY
    • I think this lady is trying to tell her kids that if you have kids you look after them, just like I did with mine and my parents never baby sat and I would never have asked them to do that. Yes they came to visit and we visited them. These days some kids expect their parents to parent their kids while they go to work which to me is UNFAIR. If you really want kids its up to the parents to look after their own.

    • The poor parents are made to feel bad cos they dont want to have the kids every weekend as they also have a life. Problem is they wont stand up to their kids or they wont get to see the grandchild/children. I agree with her in these instances.

    • Yes Marina I agree with you however it is not her decision to make and she has the right to refuse to look after them which is her decision, I feel sorry for her she doesn’t know what she is missing out on.

    • Trish I am one ot those mothers who really struggled with mother hood, I did the best I could but overall I did not enjoy it and believe someone else could have done a better job, however my children are awesome human beings with great lives, jobs partners and so on in spite of my errors, and they laugh at how as their mother I stressed all the time. When grandchildren come I will try my best, but I will not be taking them on every day or as resident babysitter, and they are aware of this, and tease me with landing them all on my lap and then leaving them there forever, however in a crisis I step up.

    • Beri Vera it sounds as though you did a pretty good job with your children and your last sentence summed it up……you will step up in a crisis which means you are a very loving mother and grandmother. I think it very unfair how people these days expect their parents to have or babysit their kids at the drop of a hat, or look after them full time (free of charge mainly) while they go to work. I think we all love our kids and grand kids, but we do have lives of our own. It’s not healthy to live our lives solely around family because eventually they go their own ways and we are left alone.

    • Beri, it sounds to me you did a very good job however you sound like you lacked confidence in yourself, kids today want what we have after years of struggling they need to take responsibility for their own children and raise them as we did, Grandparents should be able to refuse looking after their Grandkids if it is how they feel that’s when their own parents need to step up.

    • I don’t feel the Writer is selfish at all Trish Daley. There ought be no obligation, expectation – Grandchildren are for the parents to raise, not the grandparents. Lovely to see, spend time, help out with them, but there ought be no expectations by the parents placed on time, commitment requirements for grandparents. It’s a very individual, personal Family situation. It’s private, not for public approval, scrutiny.

    • Yes they are for the parents to raise, and the decision to have children is also up to the parents, that is what I meant.

  7. ÅIhave 4 grandchildren 3 boys1girl that I love to the moon and back and on23rd Dec.our only grand daughter.and fiance gave us our 1st greatgrandchild Kiana Louise. I will meet her when I get out of Jan and the family fly up from ACT.Australia.

    3 REPLY
  8. Wow, I have 9 grandchildren by my children with a 10th on the way. However all my children and their spouses are excellent parents and I welcome them all with open arms. I run two stores and a wholesale business as well, but the children are such a blessing, I feel privileged when my children want to entrust them to me for a little time. We holiday together internationally, 4 trips so far and no problems. Children are very intuitive and know whether you enjoy them, don’t want to waste a minute of this precious experience. They range in age from 1 to 20, and they all get on beautifully with each other. When the older ones do get married, children won’t be a scary thing for them, they will know a trick or two, send will also know they are surrounded by a family who loves and honours each other. What you sow, you will reap. However, I would love my children just the same if they never had any children!

  9. fair enough your point made and it is your life I want grandchildren and I have beautiful successful loving hrandchildren -my point

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